By Tim Taylor
Behold the power of bunting and aggressive base running.
Those two factors combined with timely singles, strong pitching, and solid defense led the Charleston Middle School baseball to a victory against the Paris-Crestwood Eagles in their season opener on Wednesday afternoon.
The Trojans beat Crestwood, 15-3, with Quinn Taylor earning the win and host of players up and down the lineup contributing to the day’s victory.
CMS bunted often for singles, for sacrifices, and to stress the Crestwood defense into throwing errors. The Trojans applied additional pressure by stealing nine bases.
Notable hitting performances came from Ty Helton, who went 4-for-4 at leadoff, scoring three times and driving in four runs.
Brady Collins went 2-for-2 with an RBI. Collins sacrifice-bunted home a run in the third with the help of Jacob Reed’s aggressive base running, and he had a single in the bottom of the fourth inning to drive in two more runs.
Taylor let his defense work for him by registering pop ups, line outs, and ground outs. He stuck out two batters and walked one.
Taylor went four innings but had a troublesome time in the top of third. In that half inning, the Eagles started with a ground out by Reed, Taylor registered his only walk by putting Crippes on base, and then Taylor struck out Breeding.
Crestwood’s Quinn then reached on an error, which was promptly followed by Hutchings crushing a thunderous drive to right-center, allowing him to cruise into third with a triple. Hutchings scored on a line-drive single by Dunn, but, after Eastham advanced Dunn to third on a single, Taylor got out of inning with Kirby grounding out to shortstop.
After retiring three batters in order in top of the fourth inning on ground outs, the Trojans put away the Eagles with seven runs in the bottom of the inning created by walks of CMS batters, an RBI groundout by Blake Moore, a sacrifice fly by Chase King, and timely singles by Brady Collins, Ty Helton, and Rohan Walters.
CMS next faces Mattoon this afternoon at 4:30 p.m.